My travel itinerary in Chile

I had always wanted to visit South America and it had been one of my dream destinations for a very long time. As part of my yearly long vacations during Christmas, I decided to head to the beautiful continent of South America.

For me, visiting South America was incomplete without completing the Inca Trail, which meant I had to visit Peru. I started researching for various flight options from Sydney and an economical flight option was to fly to Santiago (Chile) and then take a connecting flight to Cusco (Peru). And I decided to make use of this transit and hence stayed at Santiago for a few days.

About Chile

Chile, officially known as Republic of Chile, is a long, narrow country on the west coast of South America. Santiago is the capital and largest city of Chile. It has been rated as Number one country on Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2018 list.

Flights from Sydney

The flights from Sydney (Australia) to South America are very expensive. It did not help that I was traveling during the most busy season Christmas. After researching for a number of options, below are the flights that I took for my travel.

Flight 1: Sydney to Auckland

  • Provider: Air New Zealand.
  • Cost: AUD 419.56 (approx. USD 316.39) per person.

Flight 2: Auckland to Santiago

  • Provider: Qantas.
  • Cost: The flight cost is generally between AUD 1000 (approx. USD 758.60) to AUD 1500 (approx. USD 1137.90) per person. Since I had sufficient Qantas frequent flyer points, I traded in those points for a business class ticket from Auckland to Santiago. I paid about 92,000 Qantas points with NZD 33/AUD 29.78 (approx. USD 22.46) per person.

Visa for Indian citizens

The visa process for Chile is very simple and organised. For Indian citizens residing in Australia is very easy and systematic. This post details out the process for obtaining the Chile tourist visa.

  • Type of visa: Single entry Tourist visa.
  • Cost: AUD 73 (approx. USD 338) per person.

Chile tourist visa process

Step 1: To submit the below original documents at Chile Consulate General.

  • Completed visa application form.
  • Current Australian visa (if the visa is not stamped, then the email obtaining VEVO visa check must be forwarded to the consulate at cgsydney@optusnet.com.au).
  • Chile travel itinerary (flight tickets and accommodation).
  • Letter from current employer.
  • One passport size photograph on a white background.

Step 2: An authorization letter will be sent to your email address provided by Chile consulate before issuing the visa.

Step 3: Visit the Chile Consulate to pay the visa fee and the passport will be stamped on your passport.

  • Chile Consulate General Sydney: Level 18, 44, Market Street, Sydney, NSW 2000.

The recent up to date information can be found on Chile Consulate website.

Stay at Santiago

As my friend and I were traveling together, we decided to rent an apartment for the whole time we were at Santiago.

  • Accommodation: Zenteno Apartments in Santiago City Centre.
  • Cost: AUD 448.22 (approx. USD 338) for 7 nights.
  • The apartment is in one of the building complexes that is a gated community. There is a super market just below the building where one can shop for groceries. And there is also a coin operated laundry in the common area. Even though the apartment was comfortable and had good views of the mountains, we did not like the area much as there were no good restaurants around the apartment.

Itinerary and activities booked

Note: All these tours are booked with Viator. It is easy and convenient to book the tours.

Day 1: Valparaiso Port and Viña del Mar

On day 1, we visited the beautiful Valparaiso and Viña del Mar. The tour included the transportation from Santiago and it was a full day tour.

  • Activity planned: Full day tour of Valparaiso Port and Viña del Mar.
  • Local tour contact: Stamp’s Tour (+56 999 516 940).
  • Cost of the tour: AUD 131.29 (approx. USD 99) per person.
  • The tour is a return tour from Santiago.

Day 2: El Morado Natural Monument

This was one of the best days that we spent in Chile. We went on a hike to a glacier in El Morado national park.

  • Activity planned: Glacier hike.
  • Local tour contact: Sociedad Turistica AndoAndes (+56 229 336 051).
  • Cost of the tour: AUD 145.88 (approx. USD 110) per person.
  • The tour is a return tour from Santiago.
Chile

Day 3: Santiago 

We had not planned anything for day 3 and we decided to head out and explore the city on our own.

  • Activity planned: Santiago City Tour.
  • We explored the city on our own without any tour.

Street art in Santiago ?

I have told this many times, I love street arts. Taking pictures of some cool art around the city is something I definitely love and enjoy. Santiago was no different and we found plenty of street art.

Chile - Santiago Street art
My travel itinerary in Chile

Day 4: Cajon del Maipo and Sanjose

On day 4, we hiked to a volcano and this day was also one of the best days that we spent at Chile.

  • Activity planned: Cajon del Maipo and Sanjose Volcano hike.
  • Local tour contact: Sociedad Turistica AndoAndes (+56 229 336 051).
  • Cost of the tour: AUD 160.87 (approx. USD 121.31) per person.
  • The tour is a return tour from Santiago.

Day 5: Portillo Inca Lagoon at The Andes Mountains and San Esteban Vineyard

This day was surely the highlight of our travel in Chile. We visited the spectacular blue lagoon at the Andes mountains.

  • Activity planned: Portillo Inca Lagoon at The Andes Mountains and San Esteban Vineyard.
  • Local tour contact: Stamp’s Tour (+56 999 516 940).
  • Cost of the tour: AUD 187.69 (approx. USD 141.54) per person.
  • The tour is a return tour from Santiago.
Chile

I believe in keeping the vaccinations up to date as recommended by CDC and WHO. Below are the vaccinations that have been recommended for Chile:

Ensure to take advise from your physician before taking any vaccination and also make sure to read the CDC and WHO websites for updated information.

  • Hepatitus A combined with Typhoid – Vivaxim Inj 160U-25mcg/ImL 1 – AUD 125 (approx. USD 95)
  • Tetanus – Massbiologics Tet/ Diphth 0.5ML – AUD 20 (approx. USD 15.2)

Note: Doctor consultation for the below vaccines are covered by Medicare for Australian residents. However, one needs to pay for the vaccines themselves.

Closing Notes

I really loved traveling in Chile in spite of having some challenging and difficult initial days. It was one of those countries that has everything, from glaciers to spectacular wines. I highly recommend visiting Chile at least once to experience the culture and the vibes that the country can offer.

If you are looking for tours and trips? Then definitely check out Viator.

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